Now playing
00:45
Rubio adviser to Ohio voters: Anyone but Trump
MELBOURNE, FL - MARCH 14:  Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) greets supporters while campaigning at That Little Restaurant March 14, 2016 in Melbourne, Florida. Florida holds its presidential primary tomorrow.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, FL - MARCH 14: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) greets supporters while campaigning at That Little Restaurant March 14, 2016 in Melbourne, Florida. Florida holds its presidential primary tomorrow. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:27
CNN projection: Rubio wins Florida primary
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (left) confers with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (right) as U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 31, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (left) confers with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (right) as U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 31, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Now playing
03:04
Rubio, McCain test Trump's down ballot impact
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28:  U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) listens during a news conference on a comprehensive immigration reform framework January 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A group of bipartisan senate members have reached to a deal of outlines to reform the nation immigration laws that will provide a pathway for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country to citizenship.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) listens during a news conference on a comprehensive immigration reform framework January 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A group of bipartisan senate members have reached to a deal of outlines to reform the nation immigration laws that will provide a pathway for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country to citizenship. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
05:52
Rubio: Why I'm against Collins gun control amendment
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) share a moment during a news conference on a comprehensive immigration reform framework Monday.
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) share a moment during a news conference on a comprehensive immigration reform framework Monday.
Now playing
01:08
Rubio says it's a 'safe assumption' he will run again
Marco Rubio on The Lead
PHOTO: CNN
Marco Rubio on The Lead
Now playing
01:16
Rubio: Plagiarism controversy doesn't matter
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:25
Marco Rubio: Istanbul airport attack 'ISIS directed'
PHOTO: Senate TV
Now playing
03:28
Rubio discusses decision to leave Senate
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:49
Marco Rubio: Not God's plan that I be president in 2016
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
00:59
Rubio says Trump picking him for V.P. would backfire
OKATIE, SC - FEBRUARY 11:  Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks a campaign town hall meeting at the Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall February 11, 2016 in Okatie, South Carolina. Earlier in the week Rubio placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary, behind fellow GOP candidates Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump, who won with 35 percent of the vote.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File
OKATIE, SC - FEBRUARY 11: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks a campaign town hall meeting at the Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall February 11, 2016 in Okatie, South Carolina. Earlier in the week Rubio placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary, behind fellow GOP candidates Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump, who won with 35 percent of the vote. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:22
Rubio: Jeb's lock on Florida money was costly 2016 hurdle
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 14:  Republican presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 14: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:35
Rubio says he walked into 'trap' laid by Christie in N.H. Debate
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 06:  Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 06: Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in the Republican presidential debate at St. Anselm College February 6, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Sponsored by ABC News, the Independent Journal Review and Google, this is the final televised debate before voters go to the polls for the New Hampshire primary on February 9. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:39
Rubio on running against one-time mentor Jeb Bush
marco rubio trump attack embarrassed sot_00001028.jpg
marco rubio trump attack embarrassed sot_00001028.jpg
Now playing
00:59
Rubio 'embarrassed' by his personal attack on Trump
Now playing
01:30
Miami's Cubans discuss Sen. Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio Trump rally violence election sotu_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
Marco Rubio Trump rally violence election sotu_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:29
Rubio: Someone could die at Trump rally
rubio supporting gop nominee carroll sot nr_00011913.jpg
rubio supporting gop nominee carroll sot nr_00011913.jpg
Now playing
01:56
Rubio: 'I'll support nominee, but it's getting harder'
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:31
Rubio to Trump: I am correct, not politically correct
CNN Republican Debate at the University of Miami.
PHOTO: Edward M. Pio Roda/CNN
CNN Republican Debate at the University of Miami.
Now playing
02:35
Donald Trump, Marco Rubio spar over Cuba
OKATIE, SC - FEBRUARY 11:  Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks a campaign town hall meeting at the Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall February 11, 2016 in Okatie, South Carolina. Earlier in the week Rubio placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary, behind fellow GOP candidates Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump, who won with 35 percent of the vote.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File
OKATIE, SC - FEBRUARY 11: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks a campaign town hall meeting at the Sun City Hilton Head's Magnolia Hall February 11, 2016 in Okatie, South Carolina. Earlier in the week Rubio placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary, behind fellow GOP candidates Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump, who won with 35 percent of the vote. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:02
Marco Rubio 'not proud' of some Trump attacks
rubio mocks trump tweets rally sot ath_00023314.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
rubio mocks trump tweets rally sot ath_00023314.jpg
Now playing
02:38
Rubio mocks Trump at Dallas rally
cnn houston debate recap origwx nws_00001511.jpg
cnn houston debate recap origwx nws_00001511.jpg
Now playing
01:30
CNN's Houston GOP debate in 90 seconds
marco rubio anti-establishment record dnt tuchman ac_00010517.jpg
marco rubio anti-establishment record dnt tuchman ac_00010517.jpg
Now playing
02:00
Marco Rubio looks to avoid 'establishment' label

Story highlights

Alex Conant is Marco Rubio's presidential campaign communications director

He said Rubio's primary rival Gov. John Kasich is the best positioned to beat Donald Trump in Ohio

(CNN) —  

Marco Rubio’s communications director said Friday that GOP primary rival Gov. John Kasich is the best candidate for Republicans who want to defeat Donald Trump in the governor’s home state of Ohio.

“If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich,” Alex Conant told CNN’s “At This Hour with Berman and Bolduan,” adding Rubio was the best candidate to beat Trump in Florida.

When asked specifically if he was telling Rubio supporters in Ohio to vote for Kasich, Conant responded, “Yeah, my answer is John Kasich is the one candidate in Ohio that can beat Donald Trump. That’s stating the obvious. So … if you’re a Republican primary voter in Ohio, and you don’t want Donald Trump to be the nominee, John Kasich is your best bet.”

While not entirely surprising, Conant’s comments show that efforts to stop Trump, which had been relatively muted during Thursday’s CNN debate, had not completely evaporated. Asked for comment, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN, “(Rubio) is losing badly in Ohio and Florida. What else can he say?”

Rubio gave a slightly less forward message after Conant’s comments when he was asked about them at event in Naples.

“I’ve never talked to John Kasich about this. Clearly John Kasich has a better chance of winning in Ohio and if a voter concludes that that’s the best chance to beat Donald Trump, in Ohio, then they will do that,” Rubio said.

The Florida senator emphasized there had not been a discussion between him and Kasich about stopping Trump’s rise.

“This is stuff from ‘House of Cards,’ it’s not real life,” Rubio said.

Rubio stood by his own campaign at the same event, repeating Conant’s argument that Rubio is best positioned to win Florida.

“A vote for Ted Cruz and a vote for John Kasich in Florida is a vote for Donald Trump,” Rubio said.

Kasich campaign spokesperson Trent Duffy would not elaborate on Conant’s statement.

“We welcome the support of the Rubio campaign,” Duffy told CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield. “Voters should not be told what to do. Voters need to vote with their conscious.

Both Florida and Ohio vote next Tuesday.

According to CNN’s Poll of Polls released Friday, Trump led in both Ohio and Florida, with Kasich and Rubio his closest competitor in each state respectively. However, Kasich was only behind Trump by 2 percentage points, while Rubio is 14 percentage points behind the brash billionaire.

CNN’s Jim Acosta contributed to this report.